Category Archives: Competitions
‘Live Life’ Portrait Competition for Young Adults
This year will mark the second ‘Live Life’ Youth Art Talent Portrait Competition held by the Blue Mountains Library. The artistic brief is for youths aged 15-21yrs to produce a portrait of a senior from the Blue Mountains region, along with the story behind the picture. To enter, send a 270dpi .jpeg and 250 word description to: firstname.lastname@example.org
Due date for entries: 11th February 2013 – Sunday 24nd March, 2013
Click here to view last year’s winners.
A big thank you to all of those who entered our Love2Read book review competition each month last year. It was wonderful to find out what all of you were reading, and discover some new writers!
Patricia Allen has won the last Love2Read book review competition for 2012 – congratulations, Pat! She also won back in October with her entry about The Man Who Loved China, by Simon Winchester, and was an interviewee on our podcast, Listeners in the Mist.
You can read her winning entry for December here:
The Surgeon of Crowthorne, by Simon Winchester, is an intriguing tale, including murder and madness, describing the mighty effort involved in the making of the Oxford English Dictionary.
Though there had been attempts before Dr Johnson’s dictionary in 1755, there was no in depth help for the meanings of words. By the 19th Century the need for a comprehensive dictionary was manifest. In 1878, James Murray, a brilliant lexicographer, born in 1837, was asked to produce one. He considered the work might take several years.
Murray needed the help of hundreds of volunteers who would read ancient writings, record words, write meanings and usages for assessment.
It took years to complete the letter A. The letter T took 5 years. It would take another 44 years to complete. Altogether, more than 70 years passed to produce the first edition of the great New English Dictionary in 1928. In 1933 the first supplement was known as the Oxford English or OED.
An American medical doctor , William Chester Minor born 1834, was retired from the American Army having been a surgeon in the American Civil War. Events in 1864 had unhinged this gentle man. He was irreparably damaged psychologically and medically discharged with a pension enabling him to travel to England. Dr Minor was highly intelligent, a cultured and an educated graduate from Yale university, though one with a greedy sexual appetite.
Simon Winchester’s vivid description of mid 19th Century London is a necessary reminder for those who only know present day London. Dr Minor was living in the area of the Lambeth marshes, south of the Thames, with undrained swamps, miserable slums, stinking tanneries and soap boilers. It was an area of many brothels enabling easy access to women. One night in 1872, tormented out of his mind with paranoia, Dr Minor shot a man and was subsequently committed to the Broadmoor Lunatic Asylum for the criminally insane.
At Broadmoor, he became a trusted prisoner housed in comfort, rather like a gentleman’s club, with privileges, books etc. His comforts included tobacco, a penknife, coffee, bookcases of his own books (his consuming passion), clothes, his flute and music, fob watch and gold chain.
When James Murray sought volunteers for his project, Dr Minor answered the call and for decades filled his days, whilst imprisoned in his cell at Crowthorne, reading, writing, and contributing to the compilation of the OED. It became a bizarre friendship for over 30 years, between two highly intelligent gentle men who loved the written word.
James Murray aimed to assess 33 words per day but sometimes one word would take almost a full day. It was a huge undertaking.
Dr Minor would read voraciously, record the words from rare, ancient books, especially 17th C authors, and send the scripts to Oxford for assessment.
Work on the Dictionary was Dr Minor’s medication.
A change of Prison Superintendent caused removal of many privileges from and heartless treatment of Dr Minor. He became unsettled and unhappy. As he aged his mental state deteriorated, delusions increased and his memories of past sexual conquests caused such loathing of his ‘sins’ that one day in December 1902 he amputated his penis with the penknife and threw his member into the fire.
Dr Minor was taken to America by his brother, Alfred, in 1910. By then he was frail, wasted, and in ill health. He died in March 1920.
His resource books are preserved in the Bodleian Library museum in Oxford.
As some of you may remember, Patricia Allen was our winner of the Love2Read Book Review Competition back in October. This week she was a guest on Listeners in the Mist, the library podcast, reading her winning entry and talking to John Merriman about her reading life. It’s a wonderful podcast episode, which you can listen to here, or download in iTunes by searching for ‘Listeners in the Mist’.
The 2013 National Youth Week theme is: Be Active. Be Happy. Be You.
There is only one week left to enter the Youth Week in NSW 2013 Design Competition – with a prize of $1000! You can enter via the Youth Week website.
The Youth Week in NSW 2013 Design Competition provides young people with the opportunity to showcase their talent as a designer.
The winning entry will receive a $1000 cash prize; and will be used to brand Youth Week in NSW materials including a promotional poster and website.
A copy of the entry form and further information about the competition can be found on the Youth Week website, under downloads.
If you’ve read something interesting lately, why not write a short review of it and send it to us for your chance to win a Love2Read prize pack!
During each month this year, The National Year of Reading 2012, the library is hosting a Love2Read Book Review Competition for library patrons.
To enter the Book Review Competition, entrants are to write a book review of between 400 – 600 words. The book reviews must address a fiction or non-fiction book that fits into the theme for the relevant month. Entries are due by the last week day of each month.
The winner for each month will win a prize pack, and will also have the opportunity to read their winning entry on the library podcast, Listeners in the Mist.
General Terms & Conditions
1. The entrant must be a current patron of the Blue Mountains Library, and over 16 years of age.
2. Entry is free of charge.
3. Entries must be the original work of the entrant.
4. Patrons may enter the competition multiple times per month.
5. Only entries received by the due date will be accepted.
Email your entry (including your name, borrower number and phone number) to: email@example.com OR submit your printed entry to any Blue Mountains library branch (including your name, borrower number and contact phone number) .
Want some inspiration? Here’s the winning entry for August, by Warwick Stanbridge:
1Q84 by Huraki Murakami
Japanese author Huraki Murakami’s latest book ‘1Q84’ (1984 in Japanese) is a 900-page novel in three parts that addresses the idea of the relative or absolute nature of reality. The question what is real – and how do we know?
If this is the same world we woke up in yesterday, or last week, or even a year ago? In the novel a young woman (who is on a mission to assassinate a man who has committed a savage sex crime) is caught in a traffic jam in a large Japanese city. Hoping to save time she climbs down an industrial stair of a freeway and unwittingly enters a parallel world (1Q84) with two moons in the sky, where a strange group of creatures called the Little People manipulate the fate of the world. But the little people are not totally in control. An unseen force lies behind them that redresses the balance of power between humanity and their influence. When they, through various channels, become overpowerful, ‘something’ always mysteriously happens to force them to retreat into their own world.
Murakami’s protagonist has a long lost childhood sweetheart she is unwittingly moving towards in a tangled Skein of fate. In the world of 1984 she came from, she undertook to kill a prominent businessman who has committed crime against young girls. In this world he is actually the head of a sinister quasi-religious cult growing in power.
The question of what is moral or ethical nature appears in this book as a major backdrop. She finds her intended victim is far from the black hearted child molester she has undertaken to eliminate. He knows of her intentions and reveals himself to be a victim of fate (the Little People). His wish is to be free in death from his fate and actions. No one in this world is free to follow a path of their own choosing, every fate and action is derived from or entwined with other lives. The two reunited lovers flee the world of 1Q84 ahead of the avenging cult and the strangle Little People behind it, back into what they hope is the ‘real’ world. They can only hope.
Murakami’s novel reads like a cross between the Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, Stephen King and Philip K Dick. Nothing is absolutely real. Decisive actions only open up more possibilities (and questions). Life is a maze of forking and intersecting paths. The question of who, what and where we are at any given time can only be answered in a perceptive, not absolute, manner.
For the National Year of Reading 2012, the Blue Mountains City Library held a Book Cover Art Competition for kids, with this brief: ‘Re-imagine the cover of your favourite book’. With the entries closing at the end of August, we are thrilled to announced that we received over 100 entries! The judging will take place over the next two weeks, but in the meantime, you can check out these wonderful artworks – they really capture that childhood joy of reading.